IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Disturbing updates on the Exxon tar sands oil pipeline spill in AR; Majority of Republicans believe global warming a 'hoax'; 'Tsunami of rain' in Argentina; China cheating on fish catches?; Golf in the Arctic? PLUS: 'Monsanto Protection Act' - Sneaky legislation exempts GMOs from the law... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate science denier calls for "alarmists" to face death penalty courts; Amazon tribe threatens to declare war amid row over Brazilian dam; NV Energy to decommission coal plants; Ogalalla Sioux: Resounding NO to Keystone XL Pipeline; Bill Gates, investors, back sodium battery startup; Canada may abandon expensive mine cleanup; Green pols get billionaire ally, money; climate researchers discover 1,800-year-old 'Rosetta stone' ice cores; PLUS: Obama on climate change: ‘The politics of this are tough’ ... and much, MUCH more!...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Poll: Majority of Republicans Believe Climate Change a 'Hoax' (The Hill's e2 Wire) [emphasis added]:
58% of Republicans believe that global warming is a “hoax,” compared to 11% of Democrats, according to new polling that underscores political divides over climate change among U.S. residents.
The scientific consensus is that the planet is warming and human activities are a key driver, but a very small minority of scientists holds other views.
- Monsanto Protection Act: Exempt From Judicial Review:
- VIDEO: You Stuck What Where Now? - The Monsanto Protection Act: The Monsanto Protection Act shows that the laws of the most powerful nation on Earth are written with the same level of accountability as Internet comments. (The Daily Show)
- Monsanto Provision Tucked in Spending Bill Draws Critics (Bloomberg):
Why has Obama approved a law giving immunity to the production and sale of genetically modified food in the US?
- Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN (Guardian UK):
Researchers say a new way to estimate the size and value of catches shows the extent of looting of Africa
Just 9% of the millions of tonnes of fish caught by China's giant fishing fleet in African and other international waters is officially reported to the UN, say researchers using a new way to estimate the size and value of catches. Fisheries experts have long considered that the catches reported by China to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) are low but the scale of the possible deception shocked the authors.
- 'Tsunami of Rain' Kills 54 in Buenos Aires Flooding:
- Federal study: Global warming means stronger ‘extreme’ rains (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- 'Tsunami of Rain' Leaves At Least 54 Dead in Argentina (Latin American Herald Tribune):
“It was a deluge without historical precedent. So, the people have been surprised in the worst way and some did not have time to be able to escape this fatal trap,” [Governor Daniel] Scioli said.
- Argentina floods 'catastrophe' for La Plata, Buenos Aires (BBC)
- UPDATE: Exxon Tar Sands Pipeline EXEMPT From Oil Spill Tax:
- Amazing Aerial Footage of Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill (via Comedian Lee Camp's Youtube Channel)
- VIDEO: Shocking aerial video shows magnitude of Arkansas oil spill, as cleanup continues and frustration at Exxon grows (Treehugger)
- Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund (Climate Progress):
A 1980 law ensures that diluted bitumen is not classified as oil, and companies transporting it in pipelines do not have to pay into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Other conventional crude producers pay 8 cents a barrel to ensure the fund has resources to help clean up some of the 54,000 barrels of pipeline oil that spilled 364 times last year.
- At Oil Spill Cleanup in Arkansas, Exxon Running the Show, Not Federal Agencies (InsideClimate News):
Jay Carney, White House spokesperson, said the EPA is the federal on-scene coordinator, but the reality on the ground is a different story.
- Exxon's Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill? (DeSmogBlog)
- Exxon Replacing Oiled Arkansas Lawns, Ruptured Pipeline Still Shut (Reuters)
- Arkansas AG: Oil Spill Shows Need For Inspections: (AP)
- New spill reveals how horrible Keystone could be: Unsure what to think of Keystone pipeline? Check out this video of a shorter pipeline leaking oil all over a street
- Exxon oil spill cleanup ongoing in Arkansas, pipeline shut (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Exxon...was fined in 2010 for not inspecting another portion of the Pegasus line with sufficient frequency.
- Arkansas, Minnesota Tar Sands Oil Spills: Slipping on Keystone XL Pipeline Reality (The BRAD BLOG)
- Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved (InsideClimate News)
- Keystone Komics: The incredible, illustrated history of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (Grist)
- Teeing Off at Edge of the Arctic? A Chinese Plan Baffles Iceland (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Prodded by diplomats from the United States and other countries to take a hard look at Mr. Huang's intentions, Mr. Jonasson questioned what might lie behind China's curious interest in Grimsstadir. "One has to look at this from a geopolitical perspective and ask about motivations," Mr. Jonasson said.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Obama on climate change: ‘The politics of this are tough’ (The Hill's e2 Wire):
"The politics of this are tough. [T]he thing that I’m going to have to try to work to persuade the American people a little more convincingly on is this notion that there’s a contradiction between our economy and our environment — it's just a false choice,” Obama said at a San Francisco fundraiser.
- Obama Talks Up Climate Agenda at Keystone Foe’s Home (Bloomberg News)
- OP-ED: "Keystone XL: The Pipeline To Disaster" (Dr. James Hansen, Los Angeles Times)
- Hanford Nuclear Site: Treatment Plant for Waste in Nuclear Cleanup Has Design Flaws, Panel Says (NY Times)
- Climate Science Denier James Delingpole Calls For "Alarmists" To Face Court With Death Penalty Powers (DeSmogBlog):
"The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant's dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap." To those not au fait with the traditions of the English courts, black caps were only worn by judges when handing out death sentences.
- Brazil: Amazon tribe threatens to declare war amid row over Brazilian dam project: Munduruku leaders hit out at 'betrayal' after government pushes on with dam construction without community's consent (Guardian UK)
- NV Energy to decommission coal plants, shift to gas and renewables (Las Vegas Sun):
“This does three things: it retires coal from Nevada, builds renewables, and it creates jobs,” said Tony Sanchez, NV Energy senior vice president.
- Oglala Sioux Tribe: Resounding NO to Keystone XL Pipeline - Cite Water Concerns (Native News Network)
- Bill Gates, investors, back sodium battery startup Aquion Energy (Giga Om):
Bill Gates is continuing to fund next-generation battery startups. On Tuesday, battery startup Aquion Energy announced that it is working on raising another round of $35 million, with a first close on that round from Bill Gates, as well Bright Capital, Gentry Venture Partners, and existing investors Kleiner Perkins and Foundation Capital.
- Ottawa reconsiders toxic site priorities after Giant cleanup costs balloon (The Vancouver Sun):
Cleanup costs at a single northern mine next to Great Slave Lake are ballooning so high they are forcing Ottawa to rethink plans for thousands of contaminated sites across the country.
- Greens get billionaire ally, money (The Hill's e2 Wire) [emphasis added]:
Tom Steyer, who made his riches as a hedge fund manager, told The Hill on Tuesday that he wants to make climate change a campaign issue for years to come and Democratic support for environmental protections as widespread as support for gay marriage and immigration reform.
- OSU climate researchers discover 1,800-year-old 'Rosetta stone' ice cores (Columbus Dispatch)
- New Insight Into Photosynthesis (Science Daily) [emphasis added]:
Pigments [carotenoids, the same pigments which give orange color to carrots] found in plants and purple bacteria employed to provide protection from sun damage do more than just that. Researchers from the University of Toronto and University of Glasgow have found that they also help to harvest light energy during photosynthesis.
- Why Abundant Oil Hasn't Cut Gasoline Prices (BusinessWeek)
- National Review heralds the ‘wonderland’ of tar sands with a photo of a blighted hellscape (Grist)
- Innovation: A Building Not Just Green, but Practically Self-Sustaining (NY Times)
- You Can Have More Fossil Fuel. Or You Can Have Water. Your Choice. (Climate Crocks):
- U.S. Energy Shift: Life After Oil and Gas (NY Times):
[Increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really "need" fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice?
- NOAA: 'Robust, Unambiguous' Independent Evidence Confirms The Recent Global Warming Measured By Thermometers: Yes, The Modern Instruments Are Right. Just Ask The Coral. Or The Caves. Or The Ice Cores. Or The…. (Climate Progress)
- New Research: World on Track for Climate Disaster:
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
If all that doesn't impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
- Ocean Acidification: Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean (New Scientist)
- Global warming targets further out of reach, UN says (Phys.org):
Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century --- way above the two degrees Celsius being targeted, said a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
- Essential Climate Science Background:
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks):
Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- VIDEO: Animation Charts Modern Global Warming (NYT Green)
- Thinking Big: NREL Study Shows 80 Percent Renewables Possible By 2050 (Climate Progress)
- Part 1: The brutal logic of climate change (David Roberts, Grist) [emphasis added]:
It's simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. That means moving to emergency footing. War footing. ...It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don't want to hear it.
- Part 2: The brutal logic of climate change mitigation (David Roberts, Grist)
- How to Buy Time in the Fight against Climate Change: Mobilize to Stop Soot and Methane: A short list of relatively simple actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases other than CO2 could help put the brakes on global warming--if implemented globally (Scientific American)
- World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns: If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried - if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."
- Concise Overview: The IPCC report on extreme climate and weather events (Real Climate)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)